UCLA’s Digital Roman Forum

In continuation with my posts on digital Roman  reconstructions, this is an effort undertaken by the UCLA Cultural Virtual Reality Laboratory Department to digitally reconstruct the Roman Forum in Level 3/Level 4 Complexity. While the model was initially undertaken between 1997 and 2003, the lab was able to create an online portal into the model from which scholars can both contribute information regarding the architecture/history as well navigate through the model to better understand their own work. As the creators write: “The purposes of this site are to use the Internet to permit free use and easy viewing of the digital model by people all over the world; to provide documentation for the archaeological evidence and theories utilized to create the model; and to offer basic information about the individual features comprising the digital model so that their history and cultural context can be readily understood.”

The date upon which this model is based is June 21, 400 A.D. (It is not clear whether efforts are being made to create a time-based slider similar to GoogleMaps). In the portal, one can browse through different layers of the model based upon Primary Source (such as Livy, Tacitus, or Vitruvius), Function (such as honorary, religious, or legislative structures), and by architectural type (such as basilica, column, or house).

The portal also lists a table of geo-spatial data from which users can extract the coordinates and shape files of  each building in the Forum. The website to the overall project can be found here: http://dlib.etc.ucla.edu/projects/Forum/





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